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How to fly return to South America?

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nedmules

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Hi

I'm not much of a frequent flyer, but my girlfriend and I have managed to scrape together 80,000 QFF points each for an overseas holiday.

We would like to get to Rio for the Carnival in Feb/March next year.

Under the current QFF system, our 80,000 points each are enough for a return flight from Sydney to Santiago (Chile). This would be good enough, but we can't find any return flights!

I can easily find a flight TO Santiago (there are a lot available at that time), but there are absolutely no "award flights" coming back in Feb or March (can't search past March at the moment).

Can anyone tell me why there are lots of flights available out of Australia, but none for the return leg? Is it possible that return flights around those dates might become available in the near future?

Also, can anyone suggest an alternative way to get to and from South America with 80,000 points each?

Note that the bookings (probably) have to be made before May 25, when our points get diluted (thanks Qantas!).

Cheers

Ned
 

johnsmith

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nedmules said:
Hi

I'm not much of a frequent flyer, but my girlfriend and I have managed to scrape together 80,000 QFF points each for an overseas holiday.

We would like to get to Rio for the Carnival in Feb/March next year.

Under the current QFF system, our 80,000 points each are enough for a return flight from Sydney to Santiago (Chile). This would be good enough, but we can't find any return flights!

I can easily find a flight TO Santiago (there are a lot available at that time), but there are absolutely no "award flights" coming back in Feb or March (can't search past March at the moment).

Can anyone tell me why there are lots of flights available out of Australia, but none for the return leg? Is it possible that return flights around those dates might become available in the near future?

Also, can anyone suggest an alternative way to get to and from South America with 80,000 points each?

Note that the bookings (probably) have to be made before May 25, when our points get diluted (thanks Qantas!).

Cheers

Ned

Did you look on the net or did you call 131313, if you ring Qantas, you will increase your chances of finding a flight.
 

Anna

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LAX - MIA - GIG

It might not be much help, but you could consider flying from Australia to LAX and on to Miami for your 80,000 points. The LAX - Miami sector would be on American Airlines. You could then pay to fly from Miami to Rio on American Airlines.
 

QF WP

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Can anyone tell me why there are lots of flights available out of Australia, but none for the return leg

You answered yourself here:

Rio for the Carnival in Feb/March next year

Outbound availability is there because the numbers of travellers from Australia flying with QF/LA to Rio (GIG - aptly named!!), some via SCL (Santiago) are probably not significant. Others pax have booked their tickets already but with different outbound dates to yours apparently (as you can find outbound award seats).

However, you all want to come home at the same time - straight after Carnival!! Others must have already beaten you to the award tickets on the flights on the way home. You my need to look to fly to other destinations - Sao Paulo (GRU) or even Buenos Aires (EZE). Alternatively, as Anna suggested, connecting through MIA is the go. I've flown Belo Horizonte (CNF)/MIA on AA (was 2002), then you might be able to connect thereafter MIA/LAX/SYD. But mileage (and therefore points needed) might be a problem if the seats aren't already there or re-appear before May 25.
 

nedmules

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Thanks everyone.

Given that I can't book any further in advance than the end of March at the moment, I guess it might be a good idea to wait a bit longer and try to book a return flight for April...

Also, could I use my QFF points to fly on a different airline instead???
 

HardieBoys

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You can try to redeem QFF points on oneworld carriers. I'd strongly advise calling QFF directly and asking them about your options. They can put a request in for you, and it's been my experience that they get back to you quite quickly on this.

LA801 is the only direct oneworld flight back from South America. Alternative routes include travelling to LAX and connecting to a flight back to Australia from there.

If you are thinking about staying on after Carnaval, I can strongly recommend Buenos Aires in March. Great climate, excellent food, and overall, an amazing destination.
 
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